Are you a risk taker? Do you think you have a stronger appetite for risk relative to your friends and family? We asked some folks from the community about their approaches to risk and have shared their thoughts below.

Noel Elie | Actress | Director | CEO of Noel Elie Productions + PR

Life is essentially a game of chess, ha! Not so much… However, there is no doubt that I’ve always been a big risk taker (for my entire life) without necessarily realizing it. Risking doesn’t mean you won’t struggle and life has a way of serving up many valuable teachable moments (especially when you are a risk taker). But no risk, no reward- right? Here are 3 pivotal moments that taking risks has greatly served me: 1. Make the move/ jump and the net will appear! At 18 years old, just 2 days after graduating high school, I moved to NYC to follow my dreams. I had $800 to my name which only covered one months rent. It was financially hard but as a result of making that one big move, my life changed entirely. I knew no one and was broke and lonely but I quickly learned the value of independence and new formed friendships. It taught me that I could actually rely on myself, especially when you have no other choice to do so. Read more>>

Amanda Massi | Wardrobe Stylist

Being a risk taker is not being afraid or effected by the answer ‘No’ or failure. ‘I have the mind set that ‘No’ is only temporary. It’s important to learn how to confidently ask for what you want. The only risk is receiving a ‘No’ and that isn’t a big deal because all you need is 1 ‘Yes.’ If I listened to people or stopped after hearing ‘No’ the millionth time then I wouldn’t be where I am today. And in regards to failure it’s essential to experience to get it perfect. Read more>>

Dr. Christie Prendergast | Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

You cannot progress in your life or career without taking risks. Every progressive step in my life has represented some type of risk. Many times in my life I have had to be brave enough to take the risks to get where I am at today. Brave enough to stand up for what I believed in even if it risked my own career, brave enough to set boundaries, brave enough to get rid of people who bring you down, brave enough to take financial risks, brave enough to try something I have never done before. Sometimes my family gets scared for me when they hear of the risks I take but bravery is not the lack of fear, but the ability to move forward in spite of fear. Read more>>

Alfio Foti | Filmmaker

Often we think we are taking risks by doing anything anyone else wouldn’t do. I think taking risks is all relative, and when I think’m taking risks, I’m sort of just doing what I want. Having said that, I think committing a life to art or entertainment is particularly risky because of how few people actually succeed in making a living in that realm. The perception is that if you wrote a movie, directed one, produced, or acted in one, you’re “rich”, but the reality is, films cost a lot of money and if you want to make one with your own voice and without compromise, chances are you aren’t making any money. I think I’ve been risking my financial freedom since I was about seventeen years old. For the first few years of making films, I was mainly using friends and borrowed equipment and editing it with the help of my close collaborator Julian Filigno (Stutter Films). That was easy. Read more>>

Shaheen Sadeghi | CEO and Founder of LAB Holding, LLC

For me, it was less about risk and more about… “why do we all have to do it the same way?” When someone tells me that it cannot be done, I take that on as a challenge. I am a sponge. I see and experience life, products, and services that I am surrounded by and think about how I can do it better or improve the experience or emotional connection or make it memorable and meaningful. I suppose that can be interpreted as “risk,” but for me, it is understanding people’s needs and culture, not just bottom line and profits. Read more>>

Alice Jean | Actress

Me, and risk taking have a love-hate relationship, precisely because I may love the idea of the risk, yet hate the outcome or vice versa. Regardless, I find risks to be absolutely crucial to one’s growth. I think the fear of them comes from the unknown, which can be daunting for any human being, but I feel if you have that willpower mixed with a little bit of curiosity, you can summon up enough courage. I think as an artist, as a creative, risks become your life essentially. For me personally, from starting off in theatre, it was risking to even get up on stage, then it was risking to try different choices on stage than the previous night, or daring to play the role that was more of a challenge for me, or moving across the globe for my training, or even moving back. It’s daring to show up everyday to an industry where nothing is promised, but you play for the sake of loving the game. Read more>>

Narineh Sety | Lash Extension

When I think of the word “RISK” automatically I think about having to make a leap into something unknown. Risk has played a huge factor in my career because I had to dedicate my time and effort into something that I knew nothing about. I went into the lash industry not even knowing what they were and I had never seen a set of lashes prior to the scheduled class. Risking it in my own personal life, I had to make sure that there was a balance between working and spending time with my family. Read more>>

Erica Elizabeth Koesler | Milliner/Headpiece Designer

I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life. I was pretty young when I established my bridal headpiece design business, my beloved Erica Elizabeth Designs. I was also flying hang gliders back then and flew for over 20 years. It’s a sport that asks you to go right to the edge of risk and what you’re willing to take. You’re constantly having to respond to the elements, react quickly and make decisions. It didn’t always go well, I had some accidents, but I learned from each one and got back up to try again. Read more>>

Tim Abell | Actor and Producer

What is risk? The dictionary defines Risk as: “a situation involving exposure to danger.”… most people prefer not to put themselves in harms way. They prefer to mitigate any negative outcomes in life by only doing that which is somewhat certain…safe and predictable…. but for me I always had an adventurers spirit….dreamed of far off destinations….doing things that tested my mettle as a Man….. So at the age of 17 I joined the US Army to attempt to become a US Army Ranger.. There were no guarantees…… about anything at all. I always loved this quote from Hellen Keller : “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”…. that quote sums up my life thus far from serving as a Ranger with a Ranger Battaion to becoming an actor in Hollywood… Read more>>

Matthew Kaner | Sommelier/Wine Director/Restaurateur

Risk has only recently been clearly defined in my life and career. As a younger entrepreneur, I didn’t assess risk as much as I could or should have. I followed a feeling, jumped on an opportunity, and went for it because it felt right. Only after I closed a business for the first time did I start to understand risk as a continuum with highs and lows. Bar Covell seemed like fate. I opened the wine bar with Dustin Lancaster in 2010 when we were young and excited and we worked our butts off. Augustine Wine Bar came next, and that too seemed like it was meant to happen. Bring educational and fun drinking experiences tailored to a neighborhood, and the business will follow. But when I opened a restaurant in 2017, my relationship to risk changed dramatically. I’ll never be the same after opening (and closing) Good Measure. For better or for worse, that’s still yet to be seen. Now, though, I look at any and all feelings and opportunities differently. Read more>>

Cody Romness | American Businessman

Risk-taking is easier said than done. We’re encouraged to “go for it.” But when the risks you take – like starting a business – play out over a 5-10 year timeline… and those crucial years and building your life is at stake… it’s easy to say “maybe I don’t need to take this risk. It’s too risky.” But if you’re being honest to yourself, not taking the risk might eat you up more. For me, for the handful of big-ass-risks that I’ve taken after thinking a lot about it, the answer’s been yes. I am more afraid of inaction and “what if” down the road. I am more afraid of not going for it and what that materializes into a few years from now than I am going through the pain, fear, and struggle of taking a big risk. By the way, I’m not taking risks just to take them, you know? I’m taking them because 1) there’s a big pay off if it works 2) I believe I can do it 3) I’m calculated in small but large risks I take. I put my eggs in one basket when it comes to big risks. Why? Because I put my everything into my decisions. 100% in. Read more>>

Michael Horn | Authorized American Media Representative, The Billy Meier Contacts

Because I had no practical training in any useful field, when I graduated from art school I embarked on a very free form kind of life. I initially relied on other people to support my creative efforts. This included my parents, first wife and a small group of backers for my recording projects, etc. Having had no significant work or self-supporting experience, when I found myself in L.A., divorced, without work, etc. As a result of a most unusual “aura reading” from an interesting man in L.A., – who basically told me my past and my future – I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. This first took the form of living briefly in San Francisco and singing in coffee houses there, while staying in a small artists’ commune. Soon I took the next risk, hitchhiking from SF to Chicago, staying only long enough to see my family and then hitchhiking to NYC, in the dead of winter. Read more>>

Phaedra Williams | Beauty Entrepreneur

I believe that life is all about taking risks. A lot of times we will tend to fall into our comfort zones and get complacent to try something different or do something different. I have found that not taking risks, usually stems from fear. Fear of the unknown, the what if. What if I fail, what if I don’t succeed. You will never know if you don’t take the risk first. I have always been a risk taker. One of the first big risks I decided to take was move across country at the age of 24 from Cleveland to Los Angeles. Another big risk was to leave a job I had to start my own business. Of course I had a lot of what if’s in my head, but now it’s 19 years later of being self employed, and I’m so glad I took the risk. Read more>>

Andrea Logan | Master Trainer with Repped by Tough Mudder Bootcamp / celebrity Trainer

Taking risks doesn’t mean succeeding every time, and that’s OK! I have had many failures however those failures have lead me you grow as a person. Growing up I was a constant risk taker, never thought about the consequences that came with taking those risk , things always seemed easy . Then when a few failures came my way I could not handle it . I developed a eating disorder that lasted over 13 years. During those years a marriage, a child and life as a grown up.So my very first tough risk was a divorce become a single mom and go out on my own . During those years I failed over and over , however I developed the strength to overcome a eating disorder and become mentally stronger . My confidence started developing. Failure was a word that I knew was possible but I knew if I did not take the risk I would be stuck and have no growth. Read more>>

Cat Calico | Special FX Makeup artist, Fabricator and artist

Taking risks has been the most important part of my career and life. But I would say calculated risks. Without taking risks how are you supposed to get noticed? Shaking things up initiates change and without change you are stagnant. I used to always play it safe and I never got me anywhere. I think the moment I learned this was when I was part timing at an FX lab. I was still holding on to my safe Sephora job that I knew would pay the bills. I was too scared to jump into the FX industry with both feet. But that also meant I couldn’t make enough of an impression at the FX shop. One day they asked me to come in full time to help with a gig they were on. I felt it was a risky move, shops don’t always have consistent work but maybe if I do this I’ll make enough of an impression where they will have some loyalty to me during slower times. I gave my 2 weeks at Sephora and I felt so liberated. Read more>>